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Cosmopolitan Chiang Mai, Thailand's second city, is regarded by many as its rightful, historic capital. It's a fascinating and successful mix of old and new, where 1,000-year-old temples and quiet monastery gardens exist side by side with glittering new hotels and shopping malls. Simple Thai outlets selling local fare rub shoulders with sophisticated restaurants that would merit inclusion
in the good-food guides of any U.S. or European metropolis.